Friday, July 11, 2014

My letter PUBLISHED New York Times 7-11-2014 How to Answer the Fears of a Palestinian Mother

Rula Salameh
Education and Outreach Manager, Palestine
Budrus Producer, Home Front Co-Producer, My Neighbourhood Co-Producer
Rula is Just Vision's outreach liaison in Palestine, organizing events, interviewing peacebuilders and nonviolence activists, and maintaining contact with educators, journalists and community leaders. As one of the producers of Budrus, she played a key role in interviewing film subjects, coordinating film crews. PHOTO CREDIT Just Vision. Just Vision is a team of Palestinian, Israeli, North and South American human rights advocates, conflict resolution experts, filmmakers and journalists.

The Opinion Pages | Letters

How to Answer the Fears of a Palestinian Mother

To the Editor:
Re “A Mother’s Fear in East Jerusalem,” by Rula Salameh (Op-Ed, July 10), and “Religious Freedom in Peril,” by Nicholas Kristof (column, July 10):

Horrified by the hate crimes and violence generated by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ms. Salameh condemns Israel, but she doesn’t condemn the nefarious part that Islamists are playing in perpetuating the tragic conflict.

Mr. Kristof admits that he was reluctant to write his column “because religious repression is an awkward topic when it thrives in Muslim countries.”

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is ruining many lives; it needs to end, for everyone’s sake. Big-picture, inclusive thinking is the only way out of this cruel mess.

Ending the conflict with a just and lasting peace built by two fully secular sovereign states, Israel and Palestine, both fully respecting international law and universal human rights, is the best way forward.

Mechanicsburg, Pa., July 10, 2014

READ MORE- my letter was one in a batch of three letters published today in response to Rula Salameh's recent column


Original letter sent
(Keep in mind all popular mainstream newspapers have limited space, so to publish more they tend to edit letters to be as brief as possible.)

RE A Palestinian Mother’s Fear in East Jerusalem By RULA SALAMEH & Religious Freedom in Peril by Nicholas Kristof

Dear Editor,

A Palestinian Mother’s Fear in East Jerusalem By Rula Salameh & Religious Freedom in Peril by Nicholas Kristof were a good mix to have in your opinion pages today.  Horrified by the hate crimes and violence generated by the Israel-Palestine conflict, Palestinian Rula Salameh condemns Israel, but she fails to notice and condemn the nefarious part that Islamists are playing in perpetuating and exasperating the tragic catastrophe that is the Israel-Palestine conflict today. 

Meanwhile, Kristof admits he was reluctant to write his column Religious Freedom in Peril "because religious repression is an awkward topic when it thrives in Muslim countries. Muslims from Gaza to Syria, Western Sahara to Myanmar, are already enduring plenty without also being scolded for intolerance." 

The Israel-Palestine conflict is ruining many people's lives, and is an influence on the entire region in many different ways: The Israel-Palestine conflict needs to end, for everyone's sake.  Big picture, inclusive thinking is the only way out of this cruel mess. Ending the Israel-Palestine conflict with a just and lasting peace built by two fully secular sovereign states, Israel and Palestine, both fully respecting international law and universal human rights is the best way forward. 

Anne Selden Annab

US Reaffirms its Support for UNRWA This new contribution brings the total fiscal year 2014 U.S. contributions to date to more than $250 million, including $135,466,589 for UNRWA’s 2014 General Fund.

I Watched

CSPAN video of a fascinating and very informative discussion regarding Israel and Palestine and America hosted by the Wilson (Woodrow) International Center for Scholars

July 8, 2014, Washington, DC -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) today called on Israel and the Palestinians to de-escalate as quickly as possible from an increasingly explosive situation and a moment of grave peril. Major airstrikes on Gaza have killed numerous Palestinians, reportedly including several children, today while another heavy barrage of rocket fire from Gaza was launched towards southern Israel, and at least one rocket being reportedly shot down over Tel Aviv. Today's violence comes in the context of tit-for-tat killings of, and attacks on, Israeli and Palestinian teenagers in Jerusalem, widespread tensions in the West Bank, and even growing unrest among Palestinian citizens of Israel.

ATFP called on all sides to demonstrate leadership and to take immediate and concrete actions to de-escalate the growing conflict and refrain from inflammatory rhetoric. ATFP urged all parties to consider the negative consequences of similar conflagrations in the past, and recall that they did not benefit either side, militarily or politically, but caused the deaths of countless innocent civilians, enormous destruction of property, and widespread and lasting misery. ATFP urged President Barack Obama and the rest of the international community to use their good offices to ensure that all prospects for resolving the crisis are fully explored.
NYTimes Editorial: Can Israeli and Palestinian Leaders End the Revenge Attacks?

A dangerous turning point in Israel [Baltimore Sun Editorial] Our view: The conflict is turning increasingly personal as calls for revenge flourish

Time to look at Israeli incitement not just Palestinian

Abbas calls for UN committee on Israeli crimes against Palestinians

US condemns 'heinous murder' of Palestinian teen

The New Way of War: Killing the Kids

NYTimes: "How can a lasting political settlement be achieved if Israel continues refusing both the two-state and the one-state solutions?" Ali Jarbawi

The International Monetary Fund on Thursday said the economy in the West Bank and Gaza is weakening and urged Israel to lift restrictions on the Palestinians.

BBC Video of American Task Force on Palestine's President Dr. Ziad Asali on the Violence in Palestine & Israel

Palestine's Saeb Erekat: Mideast peace impossible without international action:  "As long as no action is taken on the economic, political, and diplomatic levels, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Lieberman, Housing Minister Ariel, and Economy Minister Bennett will continue along the same path, which is one of apartheid and colonization rather than one of justice, peace, and reconciliation."

UN officials deplore murder of Palestinian boy in Jerusalem ... “We call for strict compliance with international law by all relevant actors to avoid further loss of life, injuries and suffering.”

Statement by U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, on the Abduction and Murder of Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir... "The world has too often learned the hard way that violence only leads to more violence and at this tense and dangerous moment, all parties must do everything in their power to protect the innocent and act with reasonableness and restraint, not recrimination and retribution."

JORDAN TIMES: "It is the absence of peace between Israelis and Palestinians that breeds hatred and violence, and it is Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land that deprives its citizens of security."

UNWRA asks: What makes Palestine refugees poor?

Click by Click Culpability ... a Growing Gardens for Palestine poem by Anne Selden Annab

The Echo Chamber & ISIS

Self-fulfilling prophecies are a danger to Iraq and Syria... Let’s not wish ourselves into cataclysm before it’s too late.

Why it's way too soon to give up on the Arab Spring

"A strong advocate for mutual understanding and respect between Americans and Arabs, Naomi Shihab Nye has created a cultural space in America for people to come together to celebrate their commonalities alongside their differences. Her artistic spirit has inspired millions..."

It's time for Palestinians and Israelis to share a just peace... It's time for freedom from occupation... It's time for equal rights.... It's time for the healing of wounded souls.

This Week in Palestine promotes the Palestinian cultural image as an expression of embodied experience, a mode of communication, and a form for understanding our society, history, ecology, and ultimately ourselves... Taking a very close look at Palestinian public diplomacy and promoting Palestine.

Abbas: Israel wants PA without authority: " “Israel’s acts in the West Bank are unjustified, their ways of searching the houses, assaulting locals and killing innocent people are rejected. Israel has taken away all authority from the Palestinian Authority..."

Bethlehem Arab Women's Union, a Sunbula partner, is among the oldest income generation projects in Palestine, starting in1949 as a first aid center for refugees from the Nakba. Visit their embroidery workshop at the heart of Bethlehem's Old City, near the Church of Nativity.

UNESCO supports Jordan, Palestine proposal on Jerusalem

UNESCO | Building peace in the minds of men and women... Emergency Nomination- Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines - Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir, inscribed on World Heritage List and on List of World Heritage in Danger

UNESCO grants Battir endangered heritage status

Elton Performs at Starry Starry Night Benefit for Palestinian refugee children

CNN: Presbyterian Church dumps companies it says help Israel suppress Palestinians

"I advocate a two-state solution, based upon the pre-1967 borders, that includes recognition of the plight of, and redress for, the refugees from 1948, and also guarantees equal rights under law for all citizens of the region, whatever their religion or ethnic background..." The Rolling Stones and Tel Aviv: EXCELLENT letter by Roger Waters (of Pink Flyod) in the NYTimes

"A multiplication of new crises, and at the same time old crises that seem never to die": More than 50 million displaced worldwide, half are children, many of them caught up in conflicts or persecution that world powers have been unable to prevent or end, UNHCR said in its annual Global Trends report.... Afghan, Syrian and Somali nationals accounted for 53 percent of the 11.7 million refugees under UNHCR's responsibility. Five million Palestinians are looked after by a sister agency UNRWA.

‘War’s Human Cost’: World's population of displaced tops 50 million, UN refugee agency reports... By the end of 2013, an estimated 51.2 million people worldwide were considered to be forcibly displaced due to persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations

Ziad J. Asali: Crisis in Iraq Risks Regional Conflagration

The saga of Prof. Dajani is a subset of a broader Arab struggle between the forces of intelligence and stupidity: "The whole Arab world is at a turning point. If it continues to allow the stupidity and ignorance lobby, in all its myriad forms, to insist on cultural insularity, chauvinism, and deafness to the outside world, it will remain utterly stuck and unable to successfully join and compete in a globalizing world. But if the intelligence and knowledge constituency, as embodied by Prof. Dajani and so many other important leading Arabs, succeed in turning their societies away from decades of enforced parochialism, they will be among the most important groups in building a better future for the Middle East." Hussein Ibish

Palestinians villagers fear encroaching Israeli settlement bloc... Palestinian villager Ismail Taha: "It's stealing, and we have no means to defend ourselves. While they have biased courts, police and an army, we have no money and no power. We're peaceful, but..."

Visual map of how the Israeli ID system is stratified to limit democratic access to home ownership, security, services & participation in the polical system which creates and sustains the Israeli ID system

STAY CONNECTED... Given the U.S. commitment to religious freedom, and to the international covenants that guarantee it as the inalienable right of every human being, the United States seeks to: Promote freedom of religion and conscience throughout the world as a fundamental human right and as a source of stability for all countries

UNITED NATIONS: International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 2014

Reasonable voices & helpful resources ...America for Palestine MAY 2014

The American Task Force on Palestine supports Palestinian institution-building, good governance, anti-corruption measures, economic development, and improved living standards. ATFP holds that these same values are relevant to the broader Arab world, and that the question of Palestine is inextricably linked to regional realities and developments.

ATFP provides an independent voice for Palestinian-Americans and their supporters and advances human rights and peace. It categorically and unequivocally condemns all violence against civilians, no matter the cause and who the victims or perpetrators may be.

The Arab villages lost since Israel's war of independence - Guardian Interactive: ...Pre 1948 ...March 1948 ... May 1948 ...June 1948 ...Oct 1948 ...July 1949 ...Now

Remembering the Nakba: Israeli group puts 1948 Palestine back on the map Zochrot aims to educate Israeli Jews – through tours and a new phone app – about a history obscured by enmity and denial

Growing Gardens for Palestine: "And it's up to all of us together"... a Spring poem for Palestine & peace

Peace Building ... civic muscle

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

The Golden Rule... Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

"The only way to honor our tragic histories is to create a future for our children free of man-made tragedy. This means making peace fully, completely and without reservation, between Israel and Palestine." American Task Force on Palestine's born in Jerusalem Dr. Ziad Asali: To honor a tragic history, we must work for peace


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